Review: Bitdefender GravityZone

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Review: Bitdefender GravityZone

This sounds a bit like one of those inflatable toys at local fairs inside of which children bounce around, or perhaps some science fiction environment that surrounds a planet. Actually, although it is neither, it has some similar characteristics.

Like the child's toy, GravityZone lets users bounce between various computing environments: physical, virtualised and mobile. Just like a gravitational field around the planet, it pulls the paradigms together and down to a single security management environment. Each of the paradigms has its own security requirements, but as part of a coherent enterprise each needs to work in concert. The focal point is the GravityZone Control Center. Each of the management modules plugs in separately.

Consider the typical virtualised - or hybrid if you prefer - enterprise. The servers live in the virtual. The endpoints are physical, with some of them mobile devices. Each has its own requirements, operating systems and security quirks. Certainly it would be more pleasant to take the security management from each of the portions - each quite different from the rest - pull it together in a single management console and facilitate security interaction between them. That is exactly what GravityZone does. 

GravityZone comes as a virtual appliance and it supports an extremely wide range of physical virtual and mobile systems, operating systems, mobile environments and hypervisors. For today's enterprises, it is unlikely that one will have something that GravityZone can't support, but if something is present - a hypervisor, for example - Bitdefender will configure it for you.

GravityZone can operate agentless or with an agent, and Bitdefender recommends that users deploy a virtual appliance on each host in their virtual data centre. This is especially important for large data centres with a lot of hosts. GravityZone has a small footprint and does not detract from the performance of the rest of the data centre or any of the endpoint devices. It is vShield-compatible, but it can work with several other hypervisors. 

Support is available in a variety of formats - from per-incident to mission-critical packages. Basic support is included in the price of the product. This is well worth looking at, especially if the user has a complicated hybrid environment.

Deployment is simple and the functionality it offers is crucial to the coherent security management of a complicated environment. One very useful feature is the self-provisioning capability for mobile devices. For each deployment, the system generates a unique QR code. The prospective user rads the code and immediately is tied into the environment using Active Directory. This addresses one of the biggest issues in mobile devices: user provisioning.

What it does: Unifies security management for physical, virtualised and mobile environments. What we liked: Single security platform for virtual, physical and mobile systems, enabling seamless security interactions between the various environments.

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